Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 13. Ecclesiastical Literature of the Ante-Nicene Age, and Biographical Sketches of the Church Fathers.” sec. 159-204.
§ 190. Dionysius the Great.
Dionysius of Alexandria, also called “the Great” is carefully distinguished from Dionysius of Rome. Schaff dates his birth to about 190 (Schaff 2014, loc. 22711). He, like Gregory Thaumaturgus, converted to Christ under the influence of Origen and remained in a relationship with Origen and his thought. This did not always create a good reputation, as there were some questions about Origen’s orthodoxy, hence Dionysius’ orthodoxy was called into question. Dionysius fled the persecution of Decius but late, in 247, he was banished until 260 (Schaff 2014, loc. 22716). He worked in ministry through times of war, famine, and persecution until his death in 265.
Schaff observes that under Dionysius the Christians cared for the poor and needy, in stark contrast to the pagans, who “repelled the sick or cast them half-dead into the street” (Schaff 2014, loc. 22725). Schaff notes that despite controversy, Athanasius affirmed Dionysius’ orthodoxy (Schaff 2014, loc. 22731). His writings are largely known through fragments preserved in Eusebius.